Chemicals Producers and Distributors

Chemicals providers play a crucial role equipping their customers with the appropriate materials

and processes to meet a changing landscape

Just as CDMOs are diversifying their capabilities to meet their clients’ ever-complexifying demands, providers of chemicals solutions are working to stay ahead of new market trends based on the desires of pharma companies and their end customers.

As drug molecules both small and large become more difficult to formulate, formulators require new tools to work with. BASF Pharma Solutions works on producing novel excipients like its Kollicoat Smartseal 100 P for efficient taste masking and its Soluplus, the first polymeric solubilizer and matrix forming polymer. This type of innovation is not without its challenges, however. As David Freidinger, vice president of global business management for BASF Pharma Solutions pointed out: “Producing innovative and novel excipients remains challenging and comes with significant business risk. Regulatory agencies historically look at excipients as the sum of the formulation rather than individually, complicating the process. Our hope is that a dedicated excipient registration and qualification process helps overcome risk adversity and enables more innovative investments in the space.”

In addition to stringent regulatory concerns inherent to the therapeutics ecosystem, shifting consumer demands are top-of-mind for business leaders of chemicals companies. Roquette has long offered plant-based ingredients made as by-products from the starch extracted from corn, wheat, potatoes and peas. As one of the largest excipients suppliers in the world, Roquette is the largest producer of ingredients that go into meltables, tablets that melt in the patient’s mouth, according to Paul Smaltz, VP global business unit pharmaceuticals. Smaltz noted that it is his company’s nutraceutical offerings that have been receiving particular attention recently.

Over the past few years, consumers have taken an increased interest to nutraceuticals as people begin to pay more attention to their overall health. “Increasingly, people want to make choices at the pharmacy that impact what they put in their bodies, such as deciding between a plant-based soft gel or an animal derived product,” said Smaltz. “With the pandemic, people are more conscious than ever about what they put in their bodies and how to stay healthy.”

Ultimately, however, chemicals providers and their customers are not concerned simply with what goes into these molecules, but also how they are made. ESG is more crucial than ever, and Lars Schneider, president of Brenntag Specialties Americas, who received an award from the non-profit Water for People in 2021 in addition to being appointed to its leadership council, provides a good example. “Some of the projects at Brenntag include optimizing the supply chain of customers and suppliers with the impact of CO2 reduction or building a supplier base that in its majority maintains a sustainability program, as well as introducing green energy and circular economy into our processes. For example, we have committed ourselves to 100 % green electricity by 2025,” explained Schneider.

Chemicals providers play a crucial role in the value chain, equipping their customers with the appropriate materials and processes to meet a changing landscape.

“Roquette is currently seeing demand rise again for its pharmaceutical offerings as economies are opening up. For example, from the second half of 2020 through 2021, demand for cold and flu medications was 2% of what it historically is. Now that families are interacting again, demand is coming back.”

Paul Smaltz, VP Global Business Unit Pharmaceuticals, Roquette

Image courtesy of Brenntag